Coronavirus Cases In Latin America Jumps

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Health workers check passengers arriving at Mariscal Sucre International Airport regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus worldwide, in Quito, on March 1, 2020. (Photo by CRISTINA VEGA RHOR/AFP via Getty Images)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. March 2, 2020: The number of cases of coronavirus in Latin America has jumped from 1 to 19 with Ecuador confirming it now has six cases of the new COVID-19 virus.

Ecuador’s health minister Catalina Andramuño said on Sunday that the patients all had direct contact with an elderly woman who brought the virus to the Andean country from Spain.

Reuters News reports that the woman, an Ecuadorean citizen who resides in Spain, arrived in Ecuador on a direct flight from Madrid on Feb. 14th without presenting symptoms, but soon began to feel ill and was admitted to one of the public hospitals the government equipped to deal with the new virus.

The five new cases are all relatives of the woman who had direct contact with her since she arrived, Andramuño said, adding that they were all quarantined at their homes.

Brazil’s Health Ministry on Saturday confirmed the country’s second case of the fast-spreading new coronavirus, diagnosed in a 32-year-old patient in São Paulo who had recently visited Italy and arrived on Thursday.

And Mexico assistant health secretary, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said there are now five cases, including one male patient in Mexico City and an 18-year-old woman who had been studying in Milan, Italy.